With just nine days until the NBA Draft Lottery, teams will be getting their draft strategies together. They will without a doubt be watching tape and studying some of the nation’s top prospects. One of those prospects, Brice Sensabaugh, might just be someone that the Dallas Mavericks will keep their eye on.
Sensabaugh, a 6’6 freshman forward for the Ohio State Buckeyes, is coming off an impressive season, finishing as the team’s leading scorer this past season. The Buckeyes still struggled, finishing under .500 and in next to last place in their conference. Sensabaugh averaged 16.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game in his one season for Ohio State.
Sensabaugh is an efficient scorer from multiple areas of the court, and a capable shooter, finishing the season shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc. He also shot 83 percent from the free throw line. Sensabaugh has an aesthetically pleasing jump shot, and uses it to make key buckets, such as the big 3-pointer he hit in an early season matchup against number-one ranked Purdue.
Another strength that Sensabaugh brings is his ability to rebound. He had 19 games where he logged more than five rebounds, and four games of double-digit rebounds. His best rebounding game came against the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten tournament, when he grabbed 11 boards, including two offensive rebounds.
Sensabaugh’s biggest weakness comes on the defensive end of the floor. He could be seen several times throughout the season lacking the energy to close out on his man. This would put his team in bad situations, allowing open shooters or big men rolling to the rim. He also at times lacked discipline biting on pump fakes when he would attempt to close out. This is absolutely an area of his game that he will need to improve on to be a consistent contributor at the next level.
Fit with the Mavericks
A case could be made either way on his fit with the current Dallas Mavericks roster. He is very similar in size to Dorian Finney-Smith, who had a lot of success with the Mavericks. If his shot translates to the NBA, and if he commits to improving defensively, he could be an every day contributor to this team. However, if he’s not committed to participate on the defensive end, he doesn’t work in Dallas, as the Mavericks desperately need defensive-minded players.
The closest current comparison that I see for Sensabaugh is Jerami Grant. They are both very similar in size and position played. Sensabaugh might have a better 3-point shot than Grant, but Grant is a better defender. He also gives off Trevor Ariza vibes as a long offensive threat from the outside.
Overall, Mavericks fans should be intrigued by the idea of Sensabaugh being selected, should the ping pong balls bounce their way on May 16. He has room for improvement defensively, but if he can become more focused on that end, he’s a player the Mavericks should keep an eye on.